Akon is a household figure and an icon for individuals who grew up in the 2000s. He is a five-time Grammy nominee. He launched himself into the music business with other big successes, leaving fans and new listeners humming to this day. The rapper from Missouri has sold over 35 million albums, all of which have charted on Billboard. He has collaborated with musicians like Rick Ross, Snoop Dogg, and Eminem. However, this was not always his preferred professional choice.
Akon said that he stumbled into the music business nearly by chance. He grew up surrounded by music because of his jazz musician father and ballerina mother. Growing up, he was surrounded by entertainment, and he understood he wanted to be wealthy by whatever means necessary.
“When it came to music, it wasn’t something I grew up wanting to be; I stumbled into music by mistake.”
Akon spoke up about his artistic influences, experience in the music business, and future musical efforts in an exclusive conversation with SK POP.
15 Years of “Konvicted” 💿 listen to the stories behind the album, with the official Track By Track on my YouTube channel! https://t.co/PAhdO7NkLg pic.twitter.com/Q1hEGN1wKn
— AKON (@Akon) June 23, 2022
“It was difficult to be different,” says Akon.
His sources of inspiration and difficulties
The artist talked calmly and eloquently about the individuals that inspired him and had an impact on his career, including Drake. He stated:
“I admired Bob Marley. Bob Marley was inspiring to me in terms of his charitable work, how he brought his people together and brought opposing African leaders together for peace. That kind of thing. When I moved to the United States, I became more interested in Hip-Hop and R&B. I’m definitely a great Drake fan right now because I appreciate where he’s going with music, and I believe he brought it to a whole new level.”
He went on to explain that after collaborating on the song Smack That with Eminem, the rapper was on Akon’s Top 5 list of best rappers. In 2007, both singers received Grammy nominations for the song, which reached 2x platinum in the United States.
Challenges and Career Advancement
When asked what the most difficult difficulty he had to face in the music business, Akon talked eloquently about his hardships and how he stayed distinct, saying:
“Being different was a challenge in and of itself because the music industry has this ill pattern of just constantly supporting what’s worked in the past, and very rarely do they try to break or invest in something new that they feel will be a risk, and the biggest challenge for me was the fact that I was completely different from a whole different background, culture, and musically, I was on a different level.” So, before I considered becoming an artist, I concentrated heavily on my writing and producing.”
The Grammy-nominated singer also criticized how music is distributed, claiming that anybody with the right skills and equipment can become an artist today. This, he claims, has complicated the industry to the point that true talent is often “unheard or unnoticed.”
“The one thing I would certainly alter about the music business is its accessibility.” I believe that right today, too many individuals have too many tools to be an artist and a celebrity. As a result, the superstar element is diminished. Anyone may be an artist nowadays. A video may be shot by anybody. Anyone can release a record, which complicates and clogs the industry to the point that the things you want to find and the people with actual, true skill go unnoticed or unrecognized.”
Akon went on to say that as a result of this circumstance, there aren’t many musicians left for people to look up to.
“Back in the day, there was a regulation as to who became an artist and when because they regulated the stuff, and you had to be really talented to be noticed, recognized, or signed by a major label because they would literally have A&R’s that travel the world looking for the best talent in your area because they would literally have A&R’s that travel the world looking for the best talent in your area.” Today, it doesn’t exist, which makes the music industry really difficult to handle, and it doesn’t offer you many people to look up to since there isn’t somebody out there who you could consider a huge superstar that you want to be like.”
He emphasized that the next major artist maybe someone’s next-door neighbor who is familiar with ProTools. As a consequence, he was able to release a record from the comfort of his own home.
Akon also announced what his next project will be during the interview:
“We have two of them that we’re releasing. One is presently available on all DSPs, including iTunes, Pandora, Apple Music, and Google Play. It’s an Afrobeats EP (Extended Play). It’s called ‘Konvict Culture Presents,’ and inside it, I’m introducing a new musician from Nigeria titled T-Manny. It’s four songs up there as a mini-EP to give folks a sense of who he is and what he’s about. I’m also now featured on all tracks. My record is set to be released in the next few months. I do have a track called Enjoy That, which we just published last week.”
Akon has worked diligently in the music business, and his albums have charted in the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom. He has performed alongside some of the industry’s greatest stars, including T-Pain, Rihanna, Gwen Stefani, and Usher.